Saturday, May 19, 2007

Good Decision-Makers Made, Not Born

People who do well on a series of decision-making tasks involving hypothetical situations tend to have more positive decision outcomes in their lives, according to a study by decision scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the RAND Corp. The results suggest that it may be possible to improve the quality of people’s lives by teaching them better decision-making skills.

The paper marks an important step forward for decision science, because it shows that tasks developed to study decision-making errors in psychological labs can be used to gauge decision-making ability in real life. The study also shows that, although decision-making competence is correlated with verbal and nonverbal intelligence, it is still a separate skill.

“Intelligence doesn’t explain everything. Our results suggest that people with good decision-making skills obtain better real-life outcomes, even after controlling for cognitive ability, socio-economic status and other factors,” said W√§ndi Bruine de Bruin, a researcher in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon and the lead author of the study. “That is good news, because decision-making skills may be taught.”
Goes along with the marshmallow experiment. If these skills can be taught, I think they should be taught in the schools.

via Eurekalert

1 comment:

Audacious Epigone said...

Right. That's what religion is for--to help direct less naturally-endowed folks toward more prudent, less destructive outcomes.

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